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Prisoners to celebrate New Year

Prison inmates will be permitted to take part in Khmer New Year festivities from April 13 to 15, a Ministry of Interior official said yesterday.

Koy Boun Sorn, director general of the interior ministry’s department of prisons, said the ministry had issued a directive last week allowing prisoners to participate in the holiday.

“Even though they are prisoners, they have the right to enjoy the New Year,” he said.

Prison officers had been asked to invite monks to their prisons, so inmates could take part in alms-giving ceremonies dedicated to the spirits of deceased relatives, he said.

Inmates could also enjoy Khmer traditional games and dancing, he added.

Ngoun Lay, Pursat provincial prison director, said he had invited five monks to hold the alms ceremony and that a party would be thrown over the three days for the prisoners.

“All prisoners can come from their cells to enjoy the party,” he said, adding that he planned to kill three pigs for the event.

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